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Old 07/13/2018   #1
Lex
Default On Forum Titles and Roles - Important!

Hi folks,

Following the discussion in the forum software upgrade thread it's important we all understand user titles, roles, what that means for people who have them and what that means for the board vs. the site. Please bear with me because this post is probably going to be really long but it's important that people getting involved in the discussion have a good overview of how all that works. This is in an effort to keep things fully transparent and also obviously to discuss what's happening post-move.

I'll be delving into site history aswell here.



"USER LADDER/ USER RANKS"


This refers to the titles and permissions people get automatically by number of posts. All boards have some version of this, and it's similar to a "trust" setting permissions wise. Newbies can't edit their posts etc. It looks like this:



The vast majority of stuff is unlocked early on in this ladder, but with the move to new software we have more features to play with so we can discuss what we're going to do about the user ladder, make improvements etc.

FOR XF: As it stands the user ladder doesn't transfer over to XF or even display on the postbit. User ladders like this are one of these things that are kind of legacy, but if it's a feature we want to keep (the display on the user's postbit) then we can, we'll just have to build a new one.

There will definitely be some form of "user ladder" to deal with troll/ spam accounts, but I'd be happy if it stayed invisible. There'll be a way to make it visible on the member's own profile page rather than in every post if people are up for that option aswell.




FORUM STAFF ROLES


There's always been a fairly big distinction between "site staff" (people who work on the site and content) and "forum staff" (admins and mods), but it's confusing and has become blurred in recent years. Forum staff roles are as follows:



If you're a frequenter of any forum it's pretty simple, but we should discuss it anyway:

Administrator - This is (on forums) generally both a technical role and a "dealing with problems" hierarchical role. In terms of permissions, admins have access to everything in the backend from a technical standpoint, and are also a level above Super Moderators in the traditional sense. The hierarchical part is a little bit meaningless to us because we're small and all interact with each other on an even keel as much as possible.

Moderator - A moderator has certain permissions like the ability to ban users, lock threads, delete posts etc. Traditionally the position of "moderator" was given to people for specific boards, i.e. "this person is the General Discussion moderator" and so on. There isn't anyone with this title on TLS because...

Super Moderator - A moderator with the ability to "moderate" the whole board. Aside from some exceptions I'm not sure are still the case, we only have SMods.

For XF - I propose that we drop the "Super" from "Super Moderator" and just have "Moderator" for all the current SMods.



SITE ROLES

These were created to essentially give people who were creating content for TLS or working on the front-end site some recognition for their work, as well as categorize a front-end hierarchy. This is where shit gets cray:



This isn't all of them but you get the idea. Originally we just had "site staff" as a user title, but they weren't descriptive enough. Someone who is responsible for Social Media has nothing to do with the front-end site, and that's what "Site Staff" was initially associated with. So over time others were created, such as Site Director etc.

Now some of these roles also had mod permissions, but that didn't make them "a mod". For example, Shademp was the "Compilation of FFVII Editor", meaning he was in charge of compilation content on the front page. He ALSO had section specific mod permissions on the appropriate boards, this was to allow him to categorize content within the appropriate board for the compilation. But it didn't make him "a moderator" as per the forum staff definitions posted previous, it was just a technical permission to allow him to (if he wanted) deal with that specific board for the content he was in charge of.

Site Director (my title) has admin permissions in the backend for obvious reasons. You need admin permissions to see the CSS and deal with the styles, manage usergroups etc. But formally I am not "an admin" on the board. I realise that I've been here a long time with the title "Site Director" and people treat me like I am anyway, but our mods and admins (bar a few legacy staff members) have all been voted in by members. I was voted in as an SMod a long time ago. I believe the only people we have on staff who weren't voted in by members are X and Ryu, but correct me if I'm wrong on that one. I remember Tres being voted in as Admin after years as an SMod.

For XF: "The flattening" as we discussed in the other thread - my idea was to have small icons that could be grouped together rather than formal titles over there. There are bars that say "staff members" that we can enable/disable and customise aswell. That feature is to differentiate between staff and non-staff if need be but we don't need to use it.

So the staff icons would represent: Admin, Mod, Content Contributor, Legacy Donator? Staff Emeritus? whatever we decide we want to keep. But obviously the idea is to get rid of the vast majority of the titles and keep it simple, if everyone is cool with that.

There is one massive issue with this, and it's that I obviously don't want to make myself an official "administrator" without board approval. Yop and I have informally discussed it (I expect him to post on this subject in a bit ) but if we're flattening the user titles that means Site Director goes aswell. But I need to retain Admin permissions to deal with the technical aspects of the backend - an alternative is to keep the Site Director title and its permissions (which I don't mind) and also retain my SMod status, which I also don't mind. It's really up to you guys (and the mods/ admin) to decide what we want to do here. I don't care either way, because people treat me like an admin and I have the admin permissions regardless. It just wouldn't be right for me to flatten the user titles and then make myself an admin without discussing it with everyone first. And please if anyone has an issue with it don't be afraid to bring it up, I might be a little bit offended but I can take it



OTHER TITLES


This is stuff like "Donator" etc., and for those on XF I'm thinking similar to the other titles in the sense of having like a "legacy donator" icon.


SO

Sorry about how long this post is, but I think it's important people have a full and transparent overview of the titles and how they function.

One more thing:

In terms of board permissions, all staff members had unrestricted access to the staff section of this board (including, inappropriately, site staff). This was a long time ago though, they've since been fixed so that the staff section is accessible by all staff, but only mods etc. can see reported posts. This will remain the case in XF, but I intend to create a new semi-public board for the content contributors to categorise and organise their stuff unless anyone has objections. So for example within said board content creation discussions and organisation can all be public so that anyone can really chip in, but a subsection would be viewable by only Content Contributors for things like links to our graphics files and sensitive content. That way everything is as transparent and open as possible. Obviously anyone can get access to this by 1. contributing content and 2. being a trusted member.

So yeah, sorry for the length, please discuss
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Old 07/13/2018   #2
f a n c y
Default

Hurrah for Lex formally being made Admin

Hurrah for replacing formal titles over usernames with icons/badges.

Hurrah for having specific titles for staff (‘Site Designer’ etc) visible on a member’s profile page but not visible when posting in the threads n shit.

I reckon badges for ‘Staff Emeritus’ can be decided on an individual level since not everyone may care for that title being attached to them, as we’ve discussed (and I do see the point. Some folks want a ‘clean cut’ whilst others may be attached to the sentimentality/status). ‘Donator’ might also be decided invidivually since some folks like giving anonymously? But I can’t imagine it being too big of a deal. I say Donators can specify whether or not they want to be kept anonymous.

Yay! Thanks for this well-written and comprehensible poast.

Edit:
Excuse my ignorance—will these icon/badges be custom designed? I mention it cuz it sounds like a fun job to undertake. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Last edited by f a n c y; 07/13/2018 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 07/13/2018   #3
Strangelove
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make my badge a panda and you can do whatever you want
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Old 07/13/2018   #4
Claymore
Default

The only aspect I really have a little reservation with is this:

Lex wrote: This will remain the case in XF, but I intend to create a new semi-public board for the content contributors to categorise and organise their stuff unless anyone has objections. So for example within said board content creation discussions and organisation can all be public so that anyone can really chip in, but a subsection would be viewable by only Content Contributors for things like links to our graphics files and sensitive content. That way everything is as transparent and open as possible. Obviously anyone can get access to this by 1. contributing content and 2. being a trusted member.
I'm not sure why the unique content that anyone creates for the site, including the entire process of going through the different stages of concepts, planning, scripting, producing, and then the final product, needs to be as 'transparent and open as possible'. The entire board, and beyond, doesn't really need to see any of this. What benefit does having this open bring?

I say that because I can see some significant disadvantages. Ignoring for a moment the potential of other sites seeing what we are currently working on and beating us to the scoop, or worse, expanding on what we are doing and making better end products (which isn't as ridiculous as it sounds when real Remake content is finally here), but it is also difficult enough fielding all the different thoughts from the different team members involved in content creation - let alone the entire board being able to chime in at every step of the way.

I don't know. This just doesn't sit well with me. Though the collaboration concept we have going on Discord has been a success so far, it's success I feel in a way is that it is because there are a limited number of us, we're getting to know what our individual strengths are, are able to use our different creativity and bounce off of each other. But I think that creativity will be impacted negatively by having everything open, seen by, and chimed in, by all.

I mean, part of this probably comes from my own issues as a novel-writer-in-training, who jealously guards his writing because of his lack of self worth, but even solely on the point of creativity ... yeah, I don't see why it isn't a private section personally.
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Old 07/13/2018   #5
looneymoon
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Old 07/13/2018   #6
Lex
Default

Claymore wrote: The only aspect I really have a little reservation with is this:

Lex wrote: This will remain the case in XF, but I intend to create a new semi-public board for the content contributors to categorise and organise their stuff unless anyone has objections. So for example within said board content creation discussions and organisation can all be public so that anyone can really chip in, but a subsection would be viewable by only Content Contributors for things like links to our graphics files and sensitive content. That way everything is as transparent and open as possible. Obviously anyone can get access to this by 1. contributing content and 2. being a trusted member.
I'm not sure why the unique content that anyone creates for the site, including the entire process of going through the different stages of concepts, planning, scripting, producing, and then the final product, needs to be as 'transparent and open as possible'. The entire board, and beyond, doesn't really need to see any of this. What benefit does having this open bring?

I say that because I can see some significant disadvantages. Ignoring for a moment the potential of other sites seeing what we are currently working on and beating us to the scoop, or worse, expanding on what we are doing and making better end products (which isn't as ridiculous as it sounds when real Remake content is finally here), but it is also difficult enough fielding all the different thoughts from the different team members involved in content creation - let alone the entire board being able to chime in at every step of the way.

I don't know. This just doesn't sit well with me. Though the collaboration concept we have going on Discord has been a success so far, it's success I feel in a way is that it is because there are a limited number of us, we're getting to know what our individual strengths are, are able to use our different creativity and bounce off of each other. But I think that creativity will be impacted negatively by having everything open, seen by, and chimed in, by all.

I mean, part of this probably comes from my own issues as a novel-writer-in-training, who jealously guards his writing because of his lack of self worth, but even solely on the point of creativity ... yeah, I don't see why it isn't a private section personally.
If everyone wants it to be a private section, that's fine. My idea was to keep a best of both worlds where some of the more sensitive stuff (i.e. once a project is actually rolling along) out of the public eye.

Members have a history of disliking private sections that are private for no reason. Yop in particular is in favour of keeping as much in the open as possible, hence my suggestion. I agree on the principle of safeguarding something being created, but I also want to make sure that process is open to people who want to contribute. "Too many chefs" has definitely always been an issue here when considering one solo project.

With that in mind, do you have an idea of how we might do that?
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Old 07/13/2018   #7
Lex
Default

looneymoon wrote: i don't do shit but do i get something for being old
I know you're kidding but actually, we could come up with a badge for "legacy TLS" members that joined prior to 2013 or something? I say 2013 because this year is TLS's 10th anniversary so 2013 would have been the halfway mark XD.
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Old 07/13/2018   #8
Shademp
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Lex wrote: It's really up to you guys (and the mods/ admin) to decide what we want to do here. I don't care either way, because people treat me like an admin and I have the admin permissions regardless. It just wouldn't be right for me to flatten the user titles and then make myself an admin without discussing it with everyone first.
Lex for admin! For greatest justice!
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Old 07/13/2018   #9
X-SOLDIER
Default

Lex wrote: I was voted in as an SMod a long time ago. I believe the only people we have on staff who weren't voted in by members are X and Ryu, but correct me if I'm wrong on that one.
I mean by that measure, technically speaking Yop wasn't voted in either.

But yes, Lex for Admin & fantastic job detailing out and being the central point for basically all of this XF migration-related stuff.





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Old 07/13/2018   #10
Minato
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I support Lex for real actual admin!
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Old 07/13/2018   #11
Lex
Default

There is other actual stuff to talk about from that post aswell guys, but the support is appreciated

I mean by that measure, technically speaking Yop wasn't voted in either.
You know that's different
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Old 07/13/2018   #12
Tetsujin
Default

Lex wrote:
looneymoon wrote: i don't do shit but do i get something for being old
I know you're kidding but actually, we could come up with a badge for "legacy TLS" members that joined prior to 2013 or something? I say 2013 because this year is TLS's 10th anniversary so 2013 would have been the halfway mark XD.
I want a "Day 1" badge.
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Old 07/13/2018   #13
Strangelove
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'elder gods'
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Old 07/13/2018   #14
Dawnbreaker
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Re: Lex as admin
Forgive my analogy, but in my guild, if someone is already doing the job, then we give them the title, providing everything else works out (e.g. their attitude fits well with the new team, they want the responsibility). Since Lex essentially does an admin's job and has a lot of the same access (as far as I understand), then officially admining him is the next logical step.

Re: mods apponted vs. voted in
IIRC, a few of your other Smods actually were appointed, not voted in. I remember something of a thread back in FFOF where Yop was giving out mods positions. Just to clarify -- I don't think there was anything wrong with that, in fact, it was the only thing that could be done, as the site didn't even exist yet. How could a vote even happen? Also, relating to the Lex-as-an-admin thing, so long as they do the Smod job, having issue that they were appointed vs. voted in seems silly to me, especially given the circumstance at the time of their appointment.

Re: the creativity section (maybe I missed the official name?)
I can see both points to the question of whether to keep private or make it public. On one hand, making it public helps foster trust with the memberbase and also gives the staff a greater workforce to solicit ideas. On the other hand, yes, competitor sites can steal your ideas and creative work and managing all the different input on the creative works could become a nightmare.

All in all, I think it's great that the staff is working to streamline the titles and manage the staff talent and the memberbase, etc.
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Old 07/13/2018   #15
X-SOLDIER
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Lex wrote:
I mean by that measure, technically speaking Yop wasn't voted in either.
You know that's different
It is a bit similar – we were the first two users created, and have both perpetually been admins since the board was first created. Like Dawn said, many of those came straight out of the FFOF thread where we gathered everyone together to generate TLS in the first place.

Lex wrote: There is other actual stuff to talk about from that post aswell guys, but the support is appreciated
Userladders being invisible is solid. For the most part, when we were setting up TLS, there was a big focus on avoiding as much of the e-peen measuring of things like poast count as much as possible, while still retaining some level of differentiation between brand-new and old-timer members, as well as the quiet vs. the regulars, but I feel like badges or whatnot essentially achieve that.

The flattening of perms and groups itself seems like a welcome refresh. There is a bunch of legacy roles, titles, and whatnots that've been slowly built up over the last decade around here that the move to XF feels like spring cleaning in a lot of ways. I feel like the badges will streamline quite a bit of clutter and such, while still retaining the important bits.

The only thing where Mod vs. S-Mods MIGHT be useful is if there's an uptick in chat around the Remake, sometimes having section-specific mods helps to focus efforts in certain areas, since you know there're particular areas you're responsible for, and you can make a point of watching them more closely. That being said, that's only really a big factor if we're looking at more significant poast volume and adapting users into roles more quickly. So, while I doubt it'll be something we see in the near future, it might just be worth keeping in mind as a path we may be inclined toward later on.

Insofar as content creationy-type things, I'm also up for whatever on folks're most comfortable with insofar as the privacy of the contributor board. I'm more than happy to put stuff up in whatever environment. There're obviously merits and advantages to either that I'm not too strongly attached to one way or another. Ex: An April Fool's Day thing makes sense to be smaller and more private, whereas most general content and such make sense to be more widely available.





X
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…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

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